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On Deadly Ground (1994)

R  |   |  Action, Adventure, Thriller  |  18 February 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.3/10 from 16,879 users  
Reviews: 137 user | 47 critic

Mystical martial artist/environmental agent takes on a ruthless oil corporation.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Shari Shattuck ...
Richard Hamilton ...
Chief Irvin Brink ...
Apanguluk Charlie Kairaiuak ...
Elsie Pistolhead ...
Otto (as Swen-Ole Thorsen)
Jules Desjarlais ...


Forrest Taft is an environmental agent who works for the Aegis Oil Company in Alaska. Aegis Oil's corrupt CEO, Michael Jennings, is the kind of person who doesn't care whether or not oil spills into the ocean or onto the land, just as long as it's making money for him. He even makes commercials that make him look like he cares about the environment. Jennings is almost finished with building his new state-of-the art oil rig: AEGIS-1. The problem is that if he doesn't finish building the rig in thirteen days, the land rights will be returned to the Eskimos and the Alaskan government. When Jennings finds out that Taft's best friend Hugh Palmer has a computer disk that contains information about defective equipment on AEGIS-1, he sends out his goons to murder Palmer. When Taft tries to interfere, Jennings tries to kill Taft. But an Eskimo woman named Masu, who introduces Taft to her father Silook, the chief of her tribe, rescues Taft. With Masu's help, Taft begins a trek through the ... Written by drayj65 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

oil | murder | tribe | oil spill | oil rig | See All (168) »


His Battle To Save The Alaskan Wilderness And Protect Its People Can Only Be Won...

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

18 February 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rainbow Warrior  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$50,000,000 (estimated)


$38,590,500 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The infamous January 1994 Los Angeles earthquake almost caused the film to be delayed when the roof at Technicolor (the processor responsible for producing the release prints) collapsed from the quake and damaged the negative - consisting of 6 reels. Luckily, a Technicolor technician was able to carefully repair the damage so the film could meet its release date. See more »


Forrest Taft seemingly goes from Alaska's North Slope to the coast on a Snowmobile with no extra gas in a day's time. See more »


McGruder: [McGruder is protesting the presence of the FBI] I thought you wanted us to KILL this motherfucker, Mr. Jennings? How are we supposed to shoot him with all these cops standing around, huh? I don't think so.
Liles: McGruder! It is essential that we have the FBI here to cover ourselves legally! And it sure as hell will help with the press. They'll take the fall for anything that happens.
Michael Jennings: Look, don't worry about the FBI. We all know they couldn't find a hooker in a whorehouse anyway.
McGruder: But seriously. He'd ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The first half of the end credits run over images of Alaska and its various wildlife, until we see Forrest Taft & Masu in a canoe, with Taft pointing out to Masu, a crow in front of them circling over the water (supposedly meant to be Silook in another form) See more »


Referenced in Bad Movie Beatdown: X-Men Origins Wolverine (2010) See more »


Inuit Throat Singing
Performed by Qaunaq Mikkigak and Timangiak Petaulassie
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Grossly over-indulgent vanity piece
17 October 2000 | by (The Penumbra) – See all my reviews

At the height of his fame Seagal was allowed to direct this monstrosity about evil Texas oil Aegis company polluting Alaska. With no prior experience in directing Steve stampeded his way into this movie with as much subtlety as a brick in the face. Originally called 'Spirit Warrior' and hoping to cast loads of English baddies (among them Anthony Hopkins and Jeremy Irons) the film is a horrid example of far too much creative control given to one man too blinkered by his own agenda to bother giving us anything resembling decent storytelling.

There is nothing significant or exceptional about Seagal's direction. Nor is the action very well done. It's cut too lazily and not shot for maximum viewing clarity. But what reeks about the story is that some big oil magnate called Michael Jennings (a completely hammy Michael Caine) wants to build a really shoddy oil rig in Alaska made out of dodgy parts because the rights to the land are about to revert back to the Eskimos after 30 years of non-use. So why wait 30 years to build the bloody thing?

Seagal plays Forrest Taft, an oil rig fireman who suddenly develops a conscience and is promptly eliminated from the payroll by way of being blown up. Only he is rescue by the Eskimos and, this is where the film just goes insane, goes on a spiritual journey in which he wrestles bears and turns into eagles and stuff. I mean, what the hell is all that about??? Don't even get me started on the scene where he makes a fully-grown hard-ass redneck cry in a bar full of similar stereotypes when the philosophy touches his soul. Then he gets his old self back together and sets about righting all the wrongs of Aegis Oil and saving the environment by littering it with dead bad guys.

Jennings hires a bunch of mercenaries (including R. Lee Ermey and Billy Bob Thornton) to take out Taft but of course they all prove to be useless since Taft is revealed to be an ex-CIA Agent (oh dear God..)Nothing much really happens apart from shooting and dying and Seagal beating up nameless extras. We've seen all of this before and it's no different this time round.

I do appreciate his environmentally friendly attitude but it could have made it a little less obvious and campy. Seagal's tacked on speech at the end originally ran for 30 minutes (Jeezuz sufferin') but Warner finally stepped in and said a big no-no.

We could have had an Oliver Stone or Insider amount of paranoia and conspiracy but this just ends up as the worst of Seagal's Hollywood movies.

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